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Bay Path Joins Forces with the Longmeadow Community to Tackle Climate Change

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On June 9th, 2023, Bay Path joined the Longmeadow community to spend an evening discussing local climate change. The event, “Longmeadow Climate Change Perspectives: From Despair to Action,” was hosted by the Town of Longmeadow and Arts Integration Studio. Speakers included Katherine Antos, Undersecretary of Decarbonization and Resilience, MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; MA State Senator Jacob Oliveira; and MA State Representative Brian Ashe. 

The event included a showing of Climate Change Perspectives, a community-wide digital storytelling initiative made possible by a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action grant awarded to the Town of Longmeadow by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “Community awareness is at the heart of this project,” shared Priscilla Kane Hellweg, CEO of Arts Integration Studio, who was the project architect behind the film. Bay Path University students, the student newsroom, and Janine Fondon, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Communications Department, played a large role in the film's production, interviewing film participants and working with Longmeadow Community Television to conduct the interviews. A few students and Bay Path faculty and staff members took turns in front of the camera to appear in on-screen interviews, sharing their perspectives on climate change. It was truly a showing of community in action. 

Event attendees heard from state leaders on what’s happening on the local, state, and national levels. They were also tasked with thinking about how to impact climate change individually. As Lyn Simmons, Longmeadow Town Manager, shared, “We need to assess and review business as usual in Longmeadow,” with Undersecretary Antos adding that Volume III of the MA Climate Change Assessment talks specifically about what’s happening in the Longmeadow area and local initiatives underway to help combat climate change.

For Bay Path, the event and the film's production were lessons in climate change and confidence. “Students are learning to use their voices to match the needs of their community,” Fondon shared. “This is about young people taking us into the future. Let us continue to inspire them as they inspire us.”

To view the Longmeadow Climate Change Perspectives film, please click here.